Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Happy National Girls and Women in Sports Day!

Today, February 1, 2006, is the 20th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

NGWSD began in 1987 as a day to remember Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman for her athletic achievements and her work to assure equality for women's sports. Hyman died of Marfan's Syndrome in 1986 while competing in a volleyball tournament in Japan. Since that time, NGWSD has evolved into a day to acknowledge the past and recognize current sports achievements, the positive influence of sports participation, and the continuing struggle for equality and access for women in sports.

Sports have been very important in my life. I loved playing and am a fan. When I became a lawyer, sports helped me survive the five years I spent as the only woman lawyer in my law firm. It gave me something to talk about in attorney's meetings, and there was automatic respect because I knew more about baseball, basketball, football, hockey and soccer than anyone else in the room. And you can tell from that last sentence that I do not lack for confidence, and I attribute some of that confidence to playing sports.

One of Bushco's early failures was their attack on Title IX in 2003:

In 2003, the administration empaneled a commission to "clarify" read "lessen" Title IX's compliance standards. A minority report issued by commissioners Julie Foudy and Donna de Varona condemning the commission's recommendations for change drew bipartisan support and the backing of women's groups across the country and compelled the Department of Education to withdraw plans to modify the standards for compliance adopted in 1979.

Not that Title IX has ever been enforced with any rigor by the Justice Department of any administration. Do you know how much in fines has been leveled by the Office of Civil Rights for Title IX violations? That would be zero, zip, nada. No educational institution has ever been fined by the federal government for violating this federal law.

We've come a long way, but there's still a ways to go. Happy NGWSD!

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